iBSL - Entry level (EB1)


This is for you if you have no prior knowledge of British Sign language (or so little that you effectively want to start again from scratch). You will learn basic skills to enable you to make yourself understood and to find out information in everyday situations.


Courses will start in October 2017. Each course comprises 30 learning hours over 1 term. Lessons are two hours long and take place once a week. Course will have been completed by Christmas.

Tuesday 6 - 8 pm  or  Wednesday 3 - 5 pm  or  Thursdays 6 - 8 pm
●  Term 1: 10 weeks (30 learning hours), starting in week commencing Monday 9 October 201


● Full course 10 weeks - £105* (30 learning hours), October to December 2017

This course will be taught in a small group: Minimum 8 and maximum 14 students.

*Includes all tuition, access to VLE (virtual learning environment) and handouts, but not a textbook.


Entry level

No previous knowledge of BSL is required. Although it would be beneficial, the course is suitable for absolute beginners.

Exam fee

If you wish to gain formal accreditation for this course you can take the 'Entry Level Award in British Sign Language' (iBSL-EB1) exam, awarded by the Institute of British Sign Language (iBSL), for which there is an additional fee of £25 (see the iBSL's Fees Booklet 2017/18). Register to take this exam following this link.

Topics and Content

  • Common courtesies (greeting people, taking leave of people, asking for clarification, i.e. Please repeat, terms such as thank you, sorry, excuse me, how are you)
  • Personal Information (fingerspelling names & places, signs for immediate family members, i.e. mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, partner, son, daughter, children)
  • Work, school and/or college (name and type of work/educational institution, job role or courses being learnt in school or college)
  • Using numbers (use of local numbering systems for counting people, things, telling the time, age and currency variants)
  • Weather (basic weather and seasonal variants)
  • Use of simple linking conventions and prepositions (i.e. use of sign structures linking words and phrases)
  • Signing Structure (understanding placement, use of verbs & phrases, non-manual features, sign order, handshapes, direction, orientation, simple question forms, adjectives & adverbs including basic colours)

Comprehension Skills

  • Learners should demonstrate they can understand their teacher and others, answer questions correctly, and can read fingerspelling delivered at a slower pace than normal;
  • Learners should demonstrate they are able to understand BSL delivered at a slow pace and flow, using signing space correctly, with a range of vocabulary relevant to the unit;
  • Learners should demonstrate they can understand appropriate placement, orientation and location of signs, and use of simple directional verbs.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this course learners should be able to...

1. extract information from basic statements or descriptions in British Sign Language.
2. extract specific vocabulary, data, tenses, grammatical structures and infinitives from basic information provided in British Sign Language.
3. confirm and clarify meaning using appropriate reference sources.

Assessment Criteria

1.1 Identify a limited range of personal, social or work-related information, including polite conventions;
1.2 Understand brief instructions expressed in a limited range of signs and key phrases;
1.3 Understand the main points of brief statements or descriptions;
2.1 Understand simple and limited forms of vocabulary, BSL structures, use of tenses and infinitives, numerical data in the form of time, age
and money, and signs using simple question forms;
2.2 Understand basic signs linked together;
3.1 Demonstrate simple BSL conventions for clarifying and confirming signs not previously seen or understood;
3.2 Identify relevant reference sources.

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Contact Details

e: lalenquiries@le.ac.uk

t: +44 (0) 116 252 2662

Language skills on your transcript

Our language courses will be included on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) transcript.

Previous learners say

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Language degrees

Modern Languages at Leicester, part of the School of Arts, offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees combining French, Spanish and Italian with each other and with other academic subjects. We also offer degrees in translation and interpreting.



NEW Courses 2018

Enrolments for courses starting in January 2018 will open on 1st December 2017.

2017-2018 Term Dates

Classes run during the University terms and take place during evenings, afternoons and Saturdays:

Term 1: Autumn term (10 weeks)

Monday 9 October – Saturday 16 December 2017

Term 2: Spring term (10 weeks)

Monday 22 January – Saturday 31 March 2018

Term 3: Summer term (10 weeks)

Monday 30 April – Saturday 7 July 2018

Summer School (2 intensive weeks)

Monday 18 – Friday 29 June 2018

Please note Languages at Leicester courses will be running during University of Leicester Reading Weeks.